This is the video for Step 2 of Hopegrown's New Patient Pathway where we guide new and trepidatious patients through the steps of becoming a legal medical marijuana patient in California.
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To better explore the world of Medical Marijuana (MMJ), it's best to become familiar with some new acronyms. The cannabis, or marijuana, plant has a number of chemical compounds, 85 and counting, that are secreted by its flowers. These compounds, known as cannabanoids, have shown to be powerfully effective on symptoms of chronic conditions and serious illnesses.
These CBDs, when ingested, bind like a puzzle piece with endocannabanoids produced naturally in the human body. Endocannabanoids are simply fatty acids found throughout the brain, nervous system and tissues of the body that happen to be perfect receptors for the cannabanoids found in the marijuana plant. When bonding occurs between the two, the body begins to repair itself, starting at the cellular level.
The highest concentration of healthful cannabanoids can be found in the buds, stems and leaves of the female plant. Scientists have grouped these cannabanoids into several subclasses, two of which get a lot of attention: THC and CBD. THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the most commonly-known compound and is responsible for most of the euphoric properties of marijuana and Cannabidiol, or CBD, refers to the non-euphoric agents that can reduce spasticity, attack cancer tumors, relieve pain and even protect nerves.
Finding what kind of cannabis medicine and what method of ingestion is right for you is a tricky and often trial-based process. Before making any purchases, make sure you go over all your options with your budtender (dispensary clerk), your caregiver or your provider. This is not the time to be shy. Make sure you communicate clearly your symptoms, your health goals and your experience level. For instance, if you're not accustomed to smoking cigarettes or cannabis or having anything foreign in your lungs, than most likely you'll want to begin experimenting with oral cannabis medicines like pills, tinctures or edibles. However, if you have a history of smoking and are concerned about a healthy future, than you might want to consider vaporizing your cannabis. Also, make sure that if you buy a smoking or vaporizing device that you are unfamiliar with, you get coached properly on how to use it before experimenting on your own. The good news is that, today, there is a world of of options awaiting you and remember: there hasn't been a single recorded case of a marijuana overdose. So there's no serious or fatal risks involved. But it's important to proceed with caution: find a medicine that can be divided into incremental doses, start small and work your way up.